Working with AARP Foundation to fight food insecurity for older adults
Helping older adults with SNAP
Food security can have both an immediate and lasting impact on the health of older adults. Conversely, a lack of access to healthy food can exacerbate chronic health conditions and create new health challenges. This might be from the lack of healthy food itself, as well as having to make tough choices; for example, between buying food or paying for medication.
SNAP – or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – is a federal program designed to address food insecurity. And it has an impact: research shows that older adults who use SNAP are 46% less likely to be hospitalized than older adults who do not.
More than 25 million older adults are eligible for SNAP, yet only 37% participate. Why is this? Some reasons might include a complicated application process, as well as stigma and misinformation about the SNAP program that might make older adults more reluctant to access available benefits.
With support from UnitedHealthcare, AARP Foundation® is helping older adults navigate the process to apply for SNAP and receive benefits. Last year, the organization helped over 48,000 seniors apply for SNAP – ultimately making it easier to afford food.
“Over the course of the last decade, we’ve proudly sponsored many things with AARP Foundation, and we know that those dollars have really gone to support the programs to reduce food insecurity,” said Catherine Anderson, senior vice president of health equity strategy for UnitedHealth Group.
Find out more about these efforts on the AARP Foundation website.